How to keep good tenants

Sian Morgan
Sian Morgan | 5 min. read
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Published on October 10, 2013

Retaining good tenants in your property can be more challenging than finding reliable tenants in the first place. Continuing with the same people in your properties is hugely beneficial for you as either a landlord or a property manager, as it prevents void periods where the property is empty and receiving no rental income. It also reduces the amount of time and paperwork dedicated to each property, due to the fact that the current tenants do not need to be continuously regulated and checked in the same way new tenants require.

Here are some pointers to help keep your tenants happy and encourage them to stay in your property:

Go the Extra Mile

Don’t underestimate how much a little extra effort on your part will be appreciated by your tenants. Always keep in mind there is influx of rental property due to poor selling conditions and homeowners becoming DIY landlords. 

Be Responsive

Communication is vital in the tenant/landlord relationship, especially if you are wishing to keep them as renters. Don’t ignore their requests simply because you don’t agree. Talk through the issue and explain why you’re not happy with their suggestion and try to reach a compromise between both parties. Never ignore calls, texts, or emails from tenants. Make sure to answer or return calls immediately, as delaying the conversation is more likely to cause issues to increase in severity. Tenants do not like to be ignored, and this practice will make them disregard the property and you as an authority figure.

Address Problems Quickly

If your tenant complains of a loose drawer or squeaky door, try to fix them as quickly as possible. It may seem a minor issue in the grand scheme of property management, but these problems cause irritation and annoyance to tenants on a daily basis. Do not wait for tenants to call several times before you address these problems. Make sure to have a contingency plan if you are busy, rather than leaving a backlog of issues to resolve when you finally have time. Be sure to call a contractor promptly if you feel you cannot fix it properly yourself. If the problem needs time or extra parts you need to order, explain the process to the tenants so they have a better understanding of progress being made.

Find Ways to Help Out

Aside from addressing “fix-it” calls, you will need to find additional ways to help and please your tenants to ensure they stay at your property. They are doing you the favor of choosing to rent from you over other companies, so treat them as your customers. Housewarming gifts such as welcome baskets delivered on moving day can be an inexpensive idea but extremely thoughtful, and they are sure to be appreciated by a stressed-out tenant. Sending a small note or card at Christmas to thank them for looking after the property is friendly and respectful.

Invest in the Fixtures and Fittings

Quality materials and appliances make everyday life easier, as well as giving the property a more luxurious feel. Renters are more inclined to pay slightly higher rental fees if they can see it is a high standard of property that is well maintained. They also tend to stay longer in a place they can be proud to show and entertain family and friends in.

Rent to Pet Owners

The thought of tenants having pets is enough to make many landlords think twice about accepting a tenant. However, it has been proven that properties accepting pet owners are in much more demand, and tenants are less likely to move once they and their pets are settled. Ensure that there are rules in the contract that the tenants must repair or replace any damaged areas, clean up after their pet, and adhere to respectful practices concerning communal areas and interactions with neighbors.

Keep in Touch

Do not become overly involved in your tenants’ lives because they can see this as interfering, and it may cause boundary issues later on in the tenancy. However you should always remain approachable and friendly. Regular communication will give your tenants a heads up to any issues or future work that is planned.

Respect Their Privacy

Even if you own the property, do not just barge in whenever you feel like it. Not only is this illegal to do without giving proper notice, but it is also extremely rude and disrespectful to your tenants. Unless it is an emergency, make sure to call in advance and schedule a visit.

Screen Potential Tenants

Screening potential tenants will not only help you rent to trustworthy people in the first place, but it will help maintain your current renters. In shared properties and apartment blocks in particular, a bad tenant can affect the rest of the renters and discourage them from staying long-term.

How do you keep good tenants? Please share you advice in the comments below.

Read more on Resident Management
Sian Morgan

Sian Morgan works for Amron Properties in North Tyneside, UK.

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